China home prices gain in half the cities
China's new home prices rose in October in more cities than the previous month, indicating the government will refrain from relaxing curbs on the property market.
Prices climbed in 35 of the 70 cities the government tracks, compared with 31 in September, according to data from the statistics bureau yesterday. Prices fell in 17 cities.
Investors are gauging the government's policy direction on real estate, rolled out over two years to rein in surging home prices that raised concerns about affordability, after the Communist Party unveiled the new generation of leaders last week.
The measures have had a "relatively good" effect and the government will "steadfastly" enforce property controls, Housing Minister Jiang Weixin said in Beijing last week.
"The government has sent out signals that they will not loosen property policies because they don't want to see a big price rebound," said Shen Jian-guang, a Hong Kongbased economist at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd.
"At the National People's Congress next March, it probably could claim victory for controlling property prices." Delegates and officials gather every March for the annual meeting of the National People's Congress, the highest governmental body.
The northwestern city of Urumqi led gains in October, with a 0.5 percent increase from September, according to the data. Among major cities, the southern business hubs of Guangzhou and Shenzhen recorded gains of 0.4 percent each. Beijing prices rose 0.2 percent, while those in Shanghai and 17 other cities were unchanged.
A gauge tracking property shares on the Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) fell 0.5 percent to the lowest in three weeks at the local close, making it the only measure that declined among the five industry groups on benchmark.